How to hire executives who will drive employee development

Regardless of their position within the c-suite, all corporate leaders must fill a few standard roles in their companies. While these behaviors are so basic that they typically aren't explicitly listed in job descriptions, they can have profound impacts on a company's work environment.

One such responsibility, encouraging employee growth and development, may seem like an intrinsic part of being a leader, however, new data suggests that about half of employees rarely or never receive such attention from their leaders. In a Leadership IQ survey of more than 30,000 executives, managers and employees in the U.S. and Canada, just 36 percent of respondents reported their leaders frequently or always take an active role in helping them develop.

Encouraging higher employee engagement and development is no doubt important, but it can be difficult to push this priority on a leadership staff that isn't cut out to engage with employees. Therefore, implementing this type of cultural change often begins by prioritizing engagement when hiring new executives and managers.

As Dr. Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, Professor of Business Psychology at Columbia University, wrote for Fast Company, although all engagement-minded executives have different styles and areas of expertise, many share some consistent personality characteristics. To identify candidates who will drive a cultural shift toward increased employee engagement and development, hiring managers must be on the lookout for these traits during their executive searches, according to Dr. Chamorro-Premuzic:

  • Emotional stability: The ability to stay calm under pressure allows leaders to more effectively work with employees and help them develop through times of stress.
  • Ambition: Leaders who are willing to set challenging goals for their teams are often rewarded with employees who are constantly making strides to improve their performance.
  • Sociability: Without sociability, the lofty goals of an ambitious leader can seem daunting instead of inspiring. Sociable leaders better communicate with their teams, develop strong networks and put in the time it takes to nurture those relationships.

Working with a retained executive search firm can help your company identify executive candidates who are cut out to encourage employee development and make your organization a better, more productive place to work.

Finding people is easy, but finding the RIGHT people is not. YES Partners helps companies FIND the right people for all company functions, across many industries and globally.

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